Government announces changes to isolation period of those with Covid-19 and close contacts

By Alex Doyle
The Government has announced changes to the isolation period for people with Covid-19 and close contacts of someone who tests positive.

Following recommendations from Chief Medical Officer Dr Tony Holohan, the Cabinet has agreed to relax current restrictions – with changes coming into effect from Friday.

Those who test positive for Coronavirus will now only be required to isolate for a period of seven days, instead of ten.

Under the new rules, close contacts who are not displaying Covid-19 symptoms, are fully vaccinated and have received a booster shot will no longer have to isolate but will be advised to wear medical grade masks and take regular antigen tests.

However, if close contacts are not vaccinated or have not yet received a booster they must restrict their movements for seven days.

Positive antigen test results for those aged four to 39 will also no longer need to be confirmed with a PCR test, as the Minister for Health told reporters the HSE website will allow test results to be uploaded in the coming days.

Speaking outside Government Buildings, Stephen Donnelly said: “The HSE is just working through the final logistics and technical requirements on it, but it will be a very positive step in the right direction.”

He conceded there is an “element of risk” with the new changes, but said “we’re always balancing these things”, adding that what we’re seeing now is “an endorsement of the booster campaign and endorsement of the national effort”.

It was also confirmed the number of vaccines administered in the Republic of Ireland reached 10 million today.

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